This article was published in 2009, in Newsletter 86.
Hills Road bridge
A new trial layout for the traffic lanes on Hills Road bridge is now in place. The lanes are one-lane-up, two-lanes-down for motor traffic with a cycle lane on the up sides. This is instead of the previous arrangement of two lanes for motor traffic and no provision at all for cyclists and is part of the proposal we outlined in Newsletter 83. Public consultations were held on 8th and 10th September and the trial, which does not have lanes down the bridge because the central reservation would have to be removed and leveled out to make room, will be carefully monitored before a decision is made early in 2010 about the permanent design. This will have to tie in with the proposals for the Cambridge Gateway – the name for the area between Hills Road and the railway station – which include complicated plans for the Brooklands Avenue junction with the addition of a new route for buses and cyclists from Hills Road to the station through a new fourth arm to the junction. A new toucan crossing across the bridge near to the entrance to City House is planned with a pedestrian/cycle shared-use path from the crossing into the station (see article in this Newsletter).
The northern section of the guided busway, now rebranded ‘The Busway’, is nearing completion. Busway contractors BAM Nuttall have advised Cambridgeshire County Council that they expect to hand over the track between St Ives and Cambridge at the end of October. It is now possible to see what the cycle route alongside will be like. In places it looks on the narrow side and there is evidence that it will suffer from the not uncommon problem of obstruction by lampposts (left). On the New Ouse Viaduct the shared-use path is only about 2.5 m, with a parapet up against the side of the path. Guided buses will run right up against the kerb edge, passing worryingly close to path users (centre). The path is intended for dedication as bridleway. Soon after this. the route reaches the eastbound bus stops as a 3 m width shared-use path. The pinch caused by the WW2 pillbox is needlessly made worse by new cabinets (width about 2 m), forcing a deflection into the pedestrian area (right).
Pedestrian crossing refurbishment
The pedestrian crossing on Cherry Hinton Road, near Cowper Road (see photo), has been refurbished. Thoughtfully, we were notified in advance of the work which took place in late July. Unfortunately, we were not consulted regarding the detail and the result is that the newly-installed control boxes have been mistakenly installed in a location where they cause serious obstruction to the pavement which is a shared-use footway and two-way cycleway. What makes matters even worse is that this is a location where there are often vulnerable pedestrians waiting to use the crossing.
The developers, Grosvenor in partnership with the Universities Superannuation Scheme, are continuing preparing plans for this site near Trumpington. Their proposals can be seen on their website www.trumpingtonmeadows.com and we have recently been sent copies of the plans for street designs. We are studying these carefully to ensure that good provision is made for cyclists. If you would like to see and comment on these plans, or other planning applications, join the Planning Subgroup email list by subscribing online at www.camcycle.org.uk/lists/subscriptions.html
Resurfacing works are continuing with much-needed improvements to Mill Road (left) and new traffic calming has been installed on Luard Road (right). Some of this is a consequence of Cycle Cambridge which has attracted extra money for improving cycle routes. The resurfacing is a great improvement and we hope it lasts.